There are multiple ways you can get relief from the pain of osteoarthritis. Three important and easy ways to get natural pain relief are through nutrition, yoga, and acupuncture. While good nutrition goes a long way towards relieving pain, it's also important to include daily exercise. You already know that osteoarthritis is a result of long-term wear and tear on your joints. By including certain foods, vitamins, and physical exercise, you can relieve pain as well as strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints. Doing so will help your muscles give you greater support, thereby improving your condition.
Easy Does It
Not all exercises are equal when it comes to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. You need to strengthen the muscles that support your joints, but you have to do it in a way that doesn't put even more stress on your bones. Walking and working out in a pool are gentle ways to improve and strengthen your muscle tone. If walking is your preferred method of exercise, be sure to wear supportive walking shoes with orthotics to lessen the stress on your joints. Lifting weights will also help tremendously. In fact, just sitting in a chair and lifting hand weights several times a week will result in noticeable improvement in pain levels and increased mobility within weeks.
Daily yoga practice will also strengthen the muscles that support your bones, and it vastly increases your flexibility. Your overall physical condition, and for that matter, your mental condition, will get better because yoga is also a great stress reliever.
Of course, keeping your weight under control is critical; the more weight you carry around, the more wear and tear on your joints. However, daily exercise will help you lose weight and keep your weight at optimum levels. If you overdo it, especially in the beginning, you can use ice and/or heat to relieve muscle soreness.
Food is Your Best Medicine
A diet that includes the foods most beneficial to your condition is perhaps the easiest way to manage the pain of osteoarthritis. The nutrients found in many foods serve as natural anti-inflammatory agents. You can get many of these nutrients by using supplements as well.
The reason why using food to relieve osteoarthritis pain is so easy is that the very foods that can help the most are commonly found in any kitchen. In most cases, you don't need to shop for anything special because you probably already keep most of them on hand. Choose foods that are high in Vitamins A, C, D and bioflavonoids. Here is a partial list of the best foods and supplements that reduce swelling and work as an anti-inflammatory:
Oranges and other citrus fruits
Strawberries and raspberries
Broccoli and kale
Tomatoes and bell peppers
Nuts and seeds
Flaxseed oil (high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation)
Acupuncture is still considered by many people to be an alternative health care treatment, but this form of Chinese pain relief has been around and used with proven success for thousands of years. The basic premise is that your body, in order to function properly, must have an unimpeded flow of energy. The precise insertion of the special paper-thin needles serves to stimulate areas that need balancing. This stimulation--the needles are manipulated by the acupuncturist--improves the blood flow and helps your body produce its own natural painkillers.
The procedure is virtually painless, but if the thought of needles sets your teeth on edge, you can achieve similar results by getting a professional massage. A trained masseuse can apply the correct amount of pressure on your muscles, which will increase the blood flow. Your muscles then become warm and relaxed and you experience less pain. A similar, if not as intense, effect can be obtained by immersing yourself into a hot tub. Anything that warms up your muscles is going to make you feel better.
Incorporating these simple ideas into your daily routine will help you manage your pain naturally. And once you have established a daily lifestyle that includes the right kinds of food and exercise, your daily routine will become almost effortless.